Awen, 18 years old, a boy with melancholy eyes and a slightly fair look, is in the third year of high school, and came to my counseling room after an exam. Awen said that he has always felt restless in the last few exams, and his brain is like a movie, recalling the details of many things, and it is difficult to calm down and do the exam questions. I am always stung by small things every day, and there are many other worries: I am afraid to ask my classmates questions, I am afraid of being rejected when I approach people, I am afraid that my doll teddy bear is gone…
Hearing this, I A big question mark appeared in my mind, so I asked curiously: “Can you tell me about your teddy bear?” Awen seemed a little embarrassed: “It has been with me for many years, since I was 2 years old, I hugged it. I slept with my teddy bear, I can feel at ease with it, and no one can take it away.”
see the pain of childhood
In the following month of consultation, although Awen could talk about his current distress, it was difficult to recall his childhood. After I guided Awen to take a deep breath and relax, the pictures of his childhood gradually appeared in his mind. Awen said that when he was 4 years old, his mother gave birth to a younger sister, and he seemed very busy, giving up a lot of personal life and neglecting himself. One of the details he described struck me in my heart, “Once the kindergarten was over, all the children left, and I was alone. I didn’t know when my family would come. I was very sad, as if I was redundant.” The boy’s figure is so lonely, and he has so many longings for his mother.
When Awen was 7 years old, his father fell into depression for a long time because of job changes and hemiplegia. Parents quarreled fiercely and threw things. Witnessing such scenes, Awen often lowered his voice and cried, but his father would not let Awen cry, thinking that it was not a man. Recalling those sleepless nights, Awenmeng listened to the quarrel of his parents in the bed, and hugged the brown flannel teddy bear that his mother bought him when he was more than one year old, always afraid that his mother would leave.
Healing that happens here and now
The time when the consultation was postponed due to my business trip, Awen was late, and he relayed his friend’s words, “You have been doing psychological consultation for so long, why are you still the same?” I looked into Awen’s eyes gently, “Awen, It seems that the consultation has not achieved the results you are satisfied with, but you cannot express it directly, which reminds me that in our relationship, you are playing a role in which you are dissatisfied, but dare not speak out, and you are afraid that if you speak out, you will be suppressed by me , are you familiar with this experience before?” Awen’s eyes suddenly turned red.
In the discussion that followed, his parents often said that his family should not be told to outsiders, which also deeply affected Awen: he rarely talked about family affairs, including his neighbors, teachers, and classmates. It also made me slowly understand why Awen hid his fears from me for so long. Maybe my business trip made Awen re-experience anger, just like the anger that his sister took away from his mother. Awen sobbed and recalled to me the terrifying experience when he was a child, when he was severely described by his parents as “ignorant” when he expressed his anger.
The counseling continued to go deeper and further connected the past and the present. “In the counseling relationship, although you were angry, you never dared to express it to me directly. Because you were very scared, very worried that I would be like your parents, when you listened to it. When you complain, you will feel that you have no conscience, and will scold you fiercely, so that you can return to that fearful, helpless, and painful situation?” Awen was silent for a few minutes, and then he did not reveal something. His emotions slowly surfaced, and he could try to express it in words to me. Later, under my guidance, Awen carried out relaxation meditation exercises, returning to his childhood in his imagination, and he started healing with his inner child again and again. Healing dialogue.
Problems with children are part of the family system
When interviewed with Awen’s parents and asked her mother to choose three words to describe her child, she said something like “timid, sensible, and able to take care of others”. The father said that because he grew up in a very hard-working environment, he decided to make his son have a better life, so he made a lot of efforts, all for the sake of Awen, although he said he would abandon him when he was out of control. some words.
When I interviewed his parents for the second time, I asked about Arvin’s obsession with teddy bears. The parents of the children expressed their incomprehension. I reassured them first, then asked when the child started doing this and what had happened before. My mother remembered that when Awen was one and a half years old, he stayed in the hospital for a week, like the little teddy bear he bought at that time.
I tried to explain to my parents: “A doll is not a simple doll, but the source of his sense of security and the sustenance of his inner emotions. At present, Awen is about to graduate and will leave you to go into society. At such a critical point, he may need to More security. Maybe holding a teddy bear gives him that feeling. If the love you give him is always lacking, he might become obsessed with dolls.” Mother looked confused, but I told him She: “You can talk openly and honestly with your child at the right time, and ask how the child feels about his childhood upbringing, how he thinks about the separation situation? Maybe you can gain some insight into the child’s true feelings.
” During the consultation, Awen said that his father apologized to him, admitted that the education method was inappropriate, and seemed regretful. Mom also assured Awen that she would never do this again. The family members opened their hearts to each other, and emotions began to flow among the three members of the family, and Awen’s eyebrows stretched a lot.
Summary of consulting experience
There is a term in psychology: transitional objects, in short, there is an object or a behavior (such as touching the ear) that can be regarded as a substitute for maternal love in the eyes of the baby. Here it’s Arvin’s teddy bear, maybe a blanket, an old dress, etc. When the child of that year grows up, there will still be some similar habits, hobbies, and rituals that remain in order to appease him. Faced with a similar situation, what should the counselor guide parents to do?
1 Understand the child without unduly interfering with the child’s dependence on transitional objects
Let parents try to listen to the child’s inner thoughts and feelings from the child’s point of view, take it seriously, fully understand it, and not overly interfere with the child, eager to get rid of the things the child is attached to.
2 Accompany the child with heart and give the child a full sense of security
Although the appearance of transitional objects is a stage in the growth of children, it also reflects a problem, that is, the lack of parental care. It is recommended that parents spend more time with their children in their daily life, so that children have the opportunity to express their true thoughts, and give them more attention and insight, so that children are likely not to seek comfort from other substitutes.
At present, the consultation is still going on. Awen’s anxiety and compulsion have improved compared with before, and his concentration has also improved. Although he can’t completely let go of the teddy bear sleeping together, I believe that with parental awareness His love (it didn’t come too late), with his own courage to ask for help, this big boy will slowly gain strength, fear no wind and waves, and swim independently and bravely in the vast ocean that belongs to him.